Becoming A Contributor to Provide Credibility

At its core, strategy drives public relations. So when it comes to finding unique and relevant ways to leverage clients as thought leaders in their respective industries, many PR professionals strategically turn to bylined articles.


What is a bylined article?


A bylined article is authored by a third-party expert and published by a media outlet. These contributed pieces play a critical role in positioning individuals as thought leaders in their respective industries. Though seemingly unique, bylined articles are actually fairly common.


These articles take on a passive tone, so it is important they are not overly-promotional. Authors must ensure expertise is the foundation of the article, rather than endorsing their organization or affiliation. Ultimately, media outlets require unbiased articles in an effort to not compromise their integrity as a publication.


Why are bylined articles beneficial?


Regardless of industry, bylined articles can greatly benefit professionals and boost their credibility as a thought leader in their realm of expertise. However, there are several additional benefits to having a bylined article published.


In addition to boosting the author’s credibility, these articles can also draw attention to a company and showcase the intellect and skill of personnel.


Furthermore, bylined articles can play an important role in showcasing a company’s services and drawing attention to important matters. For instance, a lawyer might write about the implications of a national legal issue, or a nonprofit might humanize a mounting environmental concern. The possibilities of bylined article topics are endless.


Bylined articles are also beneficial for companies who don’t necessarily have a product to push, or major announcement to publicize, but who want to find a strategic and consistent way to garner media coverage. This strategic approach to PR sets companies apart from their competitors and can be more effective than traditional media coverage in terms of positioning expertise in an industry.


When are bylined articles appropriate?


As with all other public relations tactics, bylined articles won’t always be part of a company’s strategic PR plan. However, depending on targeted placement, bylined articles are an appropriate approach to additional publicity for an individual or a company.


Instructional and evergreen pieces have an easier time finding placement. Rounded out with fresh and pertinent examples, these types of bylined articles might make a good fit for an ongoing PR strategy.


On the other hand, bylined articles that react to a current issue or trend must remember that time is of the essence. Unlike the evergreen method, public relations professionals should regularly monitor topical issues and news stories, and always be prepared to respond to a current issue with a bylined article when apt.


The use of bylined articles in public relations strategy has become an increasingly popular tactic in enhancing brand awareness and recognition. Though bylined articles can reap similar results as other commonly practiced forms of public relations, this tactic can require an immense amount of planning, preparation and execution. For more information and advice on how this strategy can enhance your company’s brand, contact us for a consultation!

5 Ways to Make Your Emails Stand Out

Whether you’re looking to differentiate an email marketing campaign or pitch a story idea to a reporter, distinction is key. The average worker receives 122 emails per day, so it’s no wonder some emails go unopened. While there is no guaranteed formula to ensure your emails will be read, there are a few techniques to boost your open rates.

Here are five tips to make your emails stand out among the rest:


  1. Personalize, personalize, personalize!

What is one surefire way to catch a person’s eye? Their own name, of course! A great way to warrant a successful email is to personalize it, however, this personalization is two-fold.

First, you want to make sure some of the personalization is noticeable before the email is ever opened, which could mean a number of things. Perhaps you include the individual’s name in the subject line or perhaps you include a personalized message in the first line of the email so it can be read before it’s ever clicked-on.

Another great option for personalized emails is to make the body content tailored and memorable. Due to the number of emails in our inbox each day, it’s not difficult for one to spot a generic email blasted out to dozens of others. To change this, mention something that is of value or interest to your reader to peak curiosity, or even reference their previous work when communicating with reporters. Whatever you do, make sure your email is adapted enough to make the receiver feel as if they are the only recipient of your email (even if they aren’t).


  1. Send emails during atypical hours

While no one wants to read a work or business-related email on a Saturday, studies have found that open rates for emails sent on the weekends are higher than at other times during the week. For instance, an email sent on a Saturday has a 7 percent higher chance of being opened than an email sent on a Tuesday.

Next time you send out important emails, try sending them out at different hours to see if you find an increase in your open rates.


  1. Focus on consistency

The truth of the matter is not everyone will open your emails. While someone may open your email the first time they receive it, they may not with the next one and vice versa. However, the more frequently you send emails, the more likely people will be to open them. In fact, many people are unlikely to open an email from an unfamiliar sender.

For email marketing campaigns or larger groups, you may want to try sending emails at a consistent time to boost credibility, while for individuals, such as reporters or sales prospects, consistency may mean following-up several times before you ever hear back. Keep in mind that many individual’s inboxes are bogged down with dozens of emails per day, so if you haven’t heard back – you’re likely not bothering them by sending them another email.


  1. Serve a purpose

The absolute worst thing you can do when sending an email is to send something that lacks purpose. Not only do you want to guarantee purpose in your email content, but the call to action should also be evident towards the beginning – no one wants to dig to find it.

Furthermore, the purpose of your emails should also be pertinent to recipients. In fact, the purpose should be tailored towards them. If individuals can’t find relevant meaning in an email, chances are they will not interact with it. Identify this purpose prior to ever sending an email – and make sure it is evident throughout.

One way to ensure purpose is captured is to include a call-to-action. What should the reader do after they read your email? Be sure to let them know (or ask nicely) what their next steps should be.


  1. Don’t be afraid to highlight

Finally, don’t stray away from accenting portions of an email, such as bolding, underlining or highlighting information throughout. The likelihood that your reader will read your email in its entirety is very slim, however, by stressing the important aspects of your email you can help draw attention to what you really want them to know.

By utilizing these email techniques, you can help to boost your email success rates, as well as receive the results you set out to achieve in the first place. Inboxes can get cluttered, but that doesn’t mean your email should go unnoticed.